A Good Used Book first set up on June 18, 2018 at Melrose Trading Post in West Hollywood. Since then, it would be impossible to count the number of stories we have accumulated. Physical stories told by authors long gone, stories about those authors told by customers who read them, stories about reading itself. This is our business.
As a company, we believe in access to information and literature’s capacity to both challenge and comfort us. This past March, we established A Good Used Book Fund as a response to COVID-19 related hardships, rising rates of unemployment, and library closures. It was only after witnessing the complete generosity of our customers, however, that this was made possible. Using the tips donated to us during quarantine, we were able to send books to those who needed them without financial strain.
This is when we recognized that the support of our customers allows us to better support others. On May 25, when members of the Minneapolis police department murdered George Floyd, we were awakened to what support really means. Dismantling systemic racism and building the structures that equitably serve Black people, Indigenous people, and People of Color is a long march. This is also our business, and will continue to be.
In June we had our first Not For Profit Story Sale, where proceeds were matched by A Good Used Book Fund and donated to assist Black Lives Matter protestors in Los Angeles. As days change and needs change, so will the direction of our support. Sales will be monthly and donations transparent.
As consumers of goods, whether those goods are books or food or clothing, we have a choice. We know this to be true of companies as well. Small businesses - though not the only ones capable of prioritizing the welfare of their members, communities, and neighbors - can set the example. Profit is powerful but it can also be shared.
We here at A Good Used Book are committed to actively questioning our cannon, searching out intersectionality and context, and magnifying voices too often silenced - past and present. Publishing and bookselling are not inherently honorable industries, like authors are rarely the most honorable people, but we do have hope for each.